The Return Directive, the “SHAME DIRECTIVE”, which was approved by the European Parliament on 18 June 2008, was adopted by the Council of the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council. The Directive was approved with a majority of votes in favour, with only the Belgian delegation abstaining.
Despite thousands of citizens, NGOs, trade unions, religious organizations having mobilized to appeal to European decision-makers to reject this directive, which trivializes and generalizes a policy of detention and deportation of immigrants throughout Europe and despite a set of representatives of States in Latin America and Africa have vehemently expressed their refusal to tolerate such practices against their nationals, the European Council of Ministers formally adopted this directive on the eve of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Apart from the content of this directive , which is the biggest step backwards from Europe’s fundamental values in criminalizing and persecuting immigrants, and the date chosen, the method chosen for its adoption is insulting. Although this project is in the field of Justice and Internal Administration, the was approved during the Council of Transport Ministers . A proof of the will to carry out collective deportations through charter flights?
In Portugal, the Return Directive was clearly repudiated by large sectors of civil society, it was one of the reasons for public demonstrations that had the support of dozens of immigrant, human rights, civic, anti-racist and religious organizations. The Return Directive was voted against by most Portuguese deputies in the European Parliament, including deputies from the Socialist Party who voted against the official position of the Portuguese government.